Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham criticised over ‘shambles’ transfer strategy, with £60.5m spent and Conte still unhappy about key issue

Antonio Conte, Tottenham v Leicester May 2022

Tottenham have been slammed by one pundit who has labelled their signing of right-back Djed Spence a ‘shambles’.

Spence enjoyed a great season with Nottingham Forest in 2021-22, making 39 Championship appearances to help them achieve a long-awaited return to the Premier League. He subsequently returned to parent club Middlesbrough and was hoping Forest would make a permanent move for him.

However, they opted to pursue alternative right-backs. As such, Spence had to wait for other top-flight opportunities to emerge.

Tottenham soon came in for his services. And the 22-year-old was thought to be excited about this move as it would allow him to return to London, where he grew up.

Spence’s move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was confirmed in July last year. He cost Antonio Conte’s team £20million and penned a contract lasting until summer 2027.

Spence was brought in to provide competition and backup for existing right wing-backs Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal, while also helping to future-proof the position.

However, things have not worked out for him under Conte. The manager immediately stated that Spence was a signing for the club and not for him.

Conte has used Spence sparingly as a result. He has made six appearances this campaign, with four of those coming in the league.

Tottenham failing to resolve big problem

It represents another poor right wing-back signing from Spurs. They spent £25.8m on Emerson Royal and £14.7m on Matt Doherty. This means their total outlay to improve the position stands at £60.5m.

Yet none of the trio have impressed Conte and as such the club are having to dip back in the transfer market. They are in negotiations with Sporting Lisbon over Pedro Porro.

Pundit Noel Whelan has criticised Spurs for their ‘shambles’ Spence transfer, and for their poor treatment of the young defender.

“When you’re paying out big money for a player who hasn’t even started a game, you have to ask why,” Whelan said during an interview with Football Insider.

“I’m sure the fans are doing just that. Why did they pay £20m for him?

“Conte has been complaining all season about not having the right players, the right wing-backs. Yet Emerson Royal is still playing over Spence.

“It’s been a shambles for that young man and his career. It’s a big question mark over the transfer policy at Spurs.”

Spence’s move is certainly a confusing one. If Conte did not want him, then why did Spurs chairman Daniel Levy allow £20m to be spent on him?

Spence’s development will have stagnated over the past six months, and understandably so. He is barely getting any opportunities in a Spurs shirt.

Luckily for him, he could be on the move in the January transfer window. Interest in his signature is coming from other Premier League teams, as well as clubs outside of England.

Crystal Palace, Brentford and Leicester all want to sign Spence. Bayer Leverkusen are also plotting a surprise swoop for him.

It would be great to see the former England U21 international shine for another club after such a disappointing time at Spurs.

Meanwhile, a Spurs target ‘dreams’ of playing for them, although Levy is causing serious problems in transfer discussions.